Introduction: As a response to the shortage of prescriptionists in Northern Sweden, a web-based Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program was introduced at Umeå University in 2003. This study explored who is likely to enrol and graduate from the web-based bachelor program and whether the program has addressed the shortage of prescriptionists in rural Northern Sweden.

Methods: Data from three different sources were included in this study; the initial cohort including students admitted to the program in 2003 (survey), the entire cohort including all people admitted to the program between 2003 and 2014 (university's admissions data) and the alumni cohort including graduates who participated in an alumni survey in 2015.

Results: A typical student of the web-based pharmacy program is female, over 30 years of age, married or in a de-facto relationship and has children. Furthermore, the students graduating before 2009 were more likely to live in Northern Sweden compared to those graduating later.

Discussion and conclusion: The results indicate that the introduction of a web-based bachelor of pharmacy program at Umeå University was to some extent able to address the shortage of prescriptionists in Northern Sweden. Web-based education may potentially help address the maldistribution of health professionals by providing flexible education opportunities.


pharmacy, web-based education, graduates, prescriptionists, pharmacists, rural

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